Today is just a short diversion from our regular series: Reading as a Spiritual Practice. We will resume tomorrow with Illuminations.
Did you know that October is Pastor Appreciation Month? I know that it is also Breast Cancer Awareness month and probably several other things as well. All of them are important. But because of the conversation we have here regularly, I want to invite you to participate in a meaningful way in showing honor to your ministers this month. Each week, I will offer a suggestion for ways you can show gratitude.
There are many tasks that ministers perform, some of which never show up on a job description. These are the people who visit you in the hospital, arrange for casseroles to arrive when you have a baby, pray for you, marry you, plan funerals for your family members, provide opportunities for you to grow spiritually, pray for you, hold sacred space for you, challenge you, love you, pray for you and on and on. These are people who are invested in you…not just invested in your regular tithe but invested in you. They pour out their lives for you to come into closer contact with the Holy One. They serve as translators, prophets, planners, visionaries, and comforters. They do it from a sense of calling from God, yes. But they also do it because they have a deep love for people, for you.
This week, send your pastors/ministers/priests a note. Tell them thank you for the work they do. Thank them for the times they gave up their day off, their sleep, and family time for your spiritual well-being. If you are able, include a gift card for them to take their family out to dinner. (In the interest of full disclosure, yes. I am married to a minister. Yes, it would be alright with me if no one had to cook dinner or do dishes one night this month because of this post. There, I admitted it.) As you find opportunity, notice and remark on the positive ways that they impact your life. You will be pouring life back into your pastor’s soul.